Founded in 2006

Our People

Our Board

IVP was founded in 2006 by a group including its former Co-Chairman, Steve Peace (D), current Chairman, Dan Howle (I), and former Assemblyman, Jeff Marston (R). Having spent decades in the California legislature, the group saw the increased polarization of public policy debate and vowed to stop it. They imagined a process by which those voters and citizens who had become increasingly disenfranchised and disillusioned by the public decision-making process could again become active participants. The result was the Independent Voter Project.

Board Members

Mario Munoz

Board Member
Born and raised in South Texas, Mario is a 1985 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Spanish. Mario was a legislative consultant for over 25 years in Texas and has recently retired.

Laiza Negrete

Board Member
Laiza Negrete is the VP of Political Affairs for the California Association of REALTORS®, the most politically influential business trade association in the state representing over 200,000 members. In 2010 Ms. Negrete worked for the Independence Party of New York where she served as an advocate to open up the primary election to nonpartisan voters and also contributed to the “Hankster” a blog about nonpartisan political participation.

Dan Howle

Chairman and Executive Director
An East Coast native, Dan Howle is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he majored in history and political science. Dan recently retired after 16 years as Director of State Government Relations for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer, Eli Lilly and Company. Mr. Howle serves on the boards of the California Governor’s Cup Foundation, the Foundation for Independent Voter Education, and the National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers.

Our Advisors

Chad Peace

Chad Peace is a nationally recognized leader in election law and voter rights. He is a partner at the law firm of Peace & Shea LLP and legal strategist for the Independent Voter Project. Recently, Chad authored a successful election reform initiative in San Diego (Measure K, 2016) and two amicus briefs in support of Level the Playing Field’s case against the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Cara McCormick

Ranked Choice Voting Advisor
Cara is the co-founder of The Committee for Ranked Choice Voting, the historic campaign that made Maine the first state in the nation to adopt ranked choice voting for its state and federal elections. She is the CEO of The Chamberlain Project and the volunteer executive director of The Chamberlain Project Foundation, entities that support ranked choice voting in Maine and around the nation.

Katherine Gehl

National Reform ADVISOR
Katherine M. Gehl is a co-Chair of the National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers and author of the groundbreaking report Why Competition in the Politics Industry is Failing America.

Jim Jonas

Jim is an experienced political, public affairs and corporate communication consultant based in Denver, Colorado. For the last decade he has helped create and manage a wide variety of entrepreneurial, disruptive political organizations and campaigns to promote independent/nonpartisan causes and candidates.

James Strock

Leadership Advisor
James Strock is an American entrepreneur, author, speaker, and former senior-level public official. He is the author of three books on leadership, and a fourth on political reform in the United States.

Jackie Salit

A respected political innovator and advocate for the rights of independent voters—Jackie is the President of, the country’s leading strategy and organizing center for independents, with chapters in 40 states. Since 2005 she has hosted a bi-annual national conference for independents.

TJ O'Hara

T.J. O'Hara is an internationally recognized author, speaker, strategic consultant in the private and public sectors. He has written recurring columns for various publications that explore our Nation’s most pressing issues, challenge conventional thinking, and provide an open forum for civil discussion.